Showing posts with label mermaids. Show all posts
Showing posts with label mermaids. Show all posts

Mermaid Tales Book 18: Fairy Chase -- Multicultural Children's Book Day Review


Disclosure: I was sent a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own.

Have you been enjoying my reviews for Multicultural Children's Book Day? The big day is next Friday (1/29/21). You can stop by here to see the links of all the amazing books reviewed. I have shared some of the picture books with you--nonfiction and fiction as well as an easy reader. Today I am sharing an easy reader chapter book suggested for ages 6 to 9. The book itself is not all that multicultural but it is the 18th book in a series of 21 and the series itself is multicultural. The series is Mermaid Tales by Debbie Dadey and illustrated by Tatevik Avakyan. Today's book is Fairy Chase

Zendoodle Colorscapes -- Secrets of the Sea -- Perfect Summer Coloring Book

Disclosure: I was sent a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own.

Can you believe today is the first day of summer? Our spring was very strange with the pandemic. I expect our summer to be strange too. I know I found myself needing things to help me relax. I turned to coloring. You may remember I use to do a weekly coloring book review on Fridays called Relaxing Friday. I stopped due to the number of coloring books I had and I wasn't getting any. However that changes today. Since I was scheduled to participate with the MKB Read Around the World Summer Series yesterday this is a relaxing Saturday post. Today I get to share with you a perfect summertime coloring book and it is brand new!! It was released this week!! It is Zendoodle Colorscapes: Secrets of the Sea artwork by Deborah Muller. 

Spring Board Books Round-Up

Disclosure: We were sent these books in exchange for honest reviews. All opinions are our own.

So I decided to share with you some board books today that have been sitting on my shelf. Since one of them is about spring I figured I better hurry up. Although it is just feeling like spring here, we are half way through it on the calendar. These books range in ages from baby to 3.

Mermaid Dioramas -- Crafty Weekends Craft & Link Party

Mermaids seem to be everywhere this year. Of course with a young daughter mermaids are always in at our house. We have had a lot of fun with mermaids over the years. I bought her the mermaid Valentine kit at Paper Source this year and put it away. I liked the Valentine kit versus their every day mermaid craft kit because of the colors. Of course it is no longer available, so if you want to make these buy the every day one. We had fun putting together a few of them.

Themed Play Dates -- Oriental Trading Products Review

Disclosure: I was sent these items to review free of charge from Oriental Trading. All opinions in this post are my own. I did not receive any other compensation for this review. I am including links to the products for your convenience but do not receive anything if you buy from them.

Perhaps it is my love of planning parties and such, but I love throwing themed play dates for Hazel and her friends and Hazel really enjoys them. This summer we have had or will have three different themed play dates and we used some products from Oriental Trading to make them even more fun. The themes are fairies, mermaids and Bible stories: Creation and Noah's Ark. 

Mermaid Kisses and Sea Star Wishes Pajamas and Free Printables

Now Hazel and I frequent our local Gymboree store often. Someone Steve graduated from high school works there and through our visits to her we have gotten to know basically the whole staff. Hazel feels at home there and loves to go in to see if there is anything new in stock. She loves their clothes and has quite a few. A couple of weeks ago we noticed the Starfish Wish Two-Piece Short Pajamas .

Starfish Wish Two-Piece Short Pajamas

Just Us Girls Book Review--Mother Daughter Crafts

Disclosure: I was sent this book to review free of charge from Quarry Books. All opinions in this post are my own. I did not receive any other compensation for this review. I am including links to each item for your convenience but do not receive anything if you purchase them.

Today I get to share with you a wonderful book called Just Us Girls: 48 Creative Art and Craft Projects for Mothers and Daughters to do Together by Cindy Ann Ganaden. This book has some fun projects for any mother and daughter team to try. It promotes bonding time which is always important. Hazel loves that it is called Just Us Girls. She thinks of it as a secret time to do fun things. As usual I let Hazel go through and pick some crafts to try. She limited herself this time or maybe I limited her by not giving her as many papers to mark pages. 

Mermaid Play Date

So to end summer on a positive note, we had a Mermaid Play Date. Hazel originally wanted a mermaid birthday party, but had trouble choosing between Frozen and mermaid. We decided since we would only want girls at the mermaid one it was a better play date. (Several of her best friends are boys.) So we sent out an e-vite.  Yes, they have a free mermaid e-vite! We invited the three girls from Hazel's Pre-K class and her friend from gymnastics. We asked everyone to bring an 18-inch doll or stuffed animal. Unfortunately, only one of her girlfriends and her older sister could come, but the three girls had a blast. 

Hazel and I had big plans for the play date, but they did not all happen due to our busy schedule leading up to it. I did make all the 18-inch dolls a mermaid tail. We had them at the kids table with seats for the girls and the dolls. I provided a tutorial and pattern for the tail. I also cut out felt tails and sewed on ribbon for the girls. I estimated the older sister's size and guessed pretty well. The girls started by decorating their felt tails with glitter glue, stickers, shells, etc.

Next the girls had a potato sack/pillow case trial. We thought it would be like walking like a mermaid if she could leave the water. We just did a fun trial and no race since two of the girls were five.

Then the girls wanted a snack, so we headed back to the patio and to the snack table.

On our snack table are green grape seaweed skewers, oyster cookies, sand dollar cookies, and three kinds of Goldfish. Plus for decoration we have a foam mermaid castle. I bought the kit for the castle at Michaels when it was on sale. Hazel likes to pretend it is another dollhouse. We had planned to bake cookies, but with limited time, we improvised.

Our oyster cookies are Golden Oreos opened with a yogurt covered raisin in them. We added blue sugar sprinkles for looks and then closed them up. The yogurt covered raisins were the only white roundish things I could find at the store quickly. 

For our sand dollar cookies, we opened the Golden Oreos and Hazel ate the lids. Then we used a toothpick to trace the flower design into the filling. Hazel enjoyed making both of our sea cookies and the grape seaweed. She also loved picking out the Goldfish. We also bought some mixed berry juice boxes because they were blue. If I had time we would have made covers for them, but we didn't have the time. After a snack the girls did the final craft. It was a handprint mermaid on a little tote bag.

For the face we used a small play dough lid. Then the girls used the glitter glue for the faces and hair. While these dried the girls played in the yard and in Hazel's new clubhouse. Hazel was excited for her friends to see it. 

We did some quick decorating with green crepe paper. We made seaweed on the walls and stairs.

Hazel and I decided we would try this theme again for a play date and get more of our ideas completed!! Maybe next summer. 

For more mermaid ideas check out:

DIY Mermaid Tail for an 18-Inch Doll with Free Pattern

I have finally found time to give you the tutorial for the mermaid tail for the 18-inch dolls. I shared pictures of the first one awhile ago. I should mention that Hazel has of course lost the first one. Or at least misplaced it. I was hoping to tweak my pattern a bit but my tweaks without having the first one did not work well. 

I did some experimenting. At one of our favorite stores on Cape Cod there are some fun mermaid tails for the dolls and I actually got to talk to the maker and she shared her secret to the tail bottom. I tried to copy it, but it did not turn out quite like hers. Oh, well. Hazel also did not like that hers was one piece including the top. Hers did not have the straps on it, but I thought it might help keep it on. She also did the top decoration much better. I just did a bow.

Next I drew a new pattern trying to make the tail fins a bit larger. They however did not look good, so I covered them with the same method of the tail from the one piece.

So I went back to my original pattern and tried it again. Hazel decided this was her favorite one and is the one we will use for her mermaid playdate next week.
As I mentioned in the post I first shared the pink tail, I took the tail idea and pattern shape from a post at Peek a Boo Pattern Shop: Dressing Up Dolly: Mermaid Tail. I also loved the top she had made for her doll so I worked on one for Hazel's.

For the top I took a scrap of fabric and made it into a tube with right sides together. Then turned it the correct way and measured it. I sewed the ends in and added Velcro. Then I used a ribbon or trim wrapped around the center and knotted and then brought as a halter top and tied (more to make sure it stays in place).

My pattern is in two pieces which you have to tape. You can get Piece 1 and Piece 2. I saved them as pdf's so you can easily print them on regular printer paper and have the right scale. If you want it to be a one piece, add a few inches to the top. I would widen the thinnest part of the tail by just a bit. To make the tail, tape the pattern together and cut two of them from the fabric of your choice. Then cut just the bottom fin part out of batting (two pieces). Baste the batting onto the wrong side of each piece. Then with right sides together stitch the pieces together leaving the top open. 

I used my serger, so I did not have to finish the edges of the fabric, but if you do not have a serger and are using fabric that will fray, make sure to finish the edge with a zig zag stitch. I clipped the curves in three spots and then turned it right side out. Next fold the top down twice and stitch the band leaving an opening for elastic. I used 1/4 inch elastic but could have used 1/2 inch as well. Measure the elastic to the doll or use 10 1/2 inches (American Girl waist according to Doll Clothes Patterns). Put the elastic in the band by first putting a safety pin on it and feeding it through the opening. Then sew the elastic ends together and stick ends into band. Close hole. Your tail is complete. I have not made one for Hazel's BFC doll yet. I will have to adjust the pattern since that doll is so skinny!!

For more doll ideas check out:

Creative Mermaid Craft

A few weeks ago the free craft at Lakeshore Learning was this fun mermaid craft. We had seen one of the employees make the sample back in the beginning of May (or maybe the end of April) and could not wait for this fun craft and of course that was the weekend we visited my parents so we could not go to Lakeshore to do the craft. That Monday, I stopped by to see if there was a pattern for the tail and they happened to have the leftover pieces out and gave me the basic pieces. Hazel and I finally had time to make it and we made many and got rather creative. I splurged on a fun sparkly paper that I thought would be perfect for the tail. I was able to cut two tails from it. 

Fairy Tales in Different Cultures: Sukey and the Mermaid

This week we will be looking at an American version of Cinderella. Sukey and the Mermaid by Robert San Souci is a different version of Cinderella taking place in South Carolina. In the author's note he comments that it is a brief fragment of Elsie Clew Parson's Folk-Lore of the Sea Islands, South Carolina published in 1923. He also states that it is one of the authenticated African-American folktales involving mermaids. He also searched for more complete narratives. In Caribbean folklore "Pretty Jo" or "Mama Jo" is derived from "Mama Dio" or water mother, a term for mermaid. Since he did not find the root tale in the Caribbean, he looked at African tales and believes this is a West African tale. Now again, this is a very different version of Cinderella and is not your typical story involving a prince, etc.

Flag of South Carolina
South Carolina is a southern state. It was the eighth state to ratify the U.S. Constitution in 1788. It was the first state to secede from the Union for the start of the Civil War and rejoined the Union in 1868. It is the 40th most extensive and the 24th most populous of the 50 states. The state capital is Columbia.

Map of the United States with South Carolina highlighted

King Charles II of England gave eight aristocrats a charter to settle Carolina, which means Charles Land in Latin. It was so named for King Charles' father. Carolina did not develop as planned and split into two colonies due to political reasons.

Some interesting more recent history of South Carolina is it was one of several states to reject the 19th Amendment (the right for women to vote). It later ratified it in 1969. South Carolina is one of three states that refuses to use competitive international math and language standards. South Carolina has the highest rate of strokes in the United States. South Carolina is the only state to own and operate its own fleet of school buses. (Source)

Now onto our book. This story is about a young girl named Sukey. She lives in a run down cabin with her mother and stepfather, Mr. Jones. Mr. Jones does not work and forces her to work. He yells at her to work more and not to take breaks. Sukey spends her days hoeing the vegetable garden. One day when Mr. Jones is not looking, Sukey sneaks off and runs to the coast where there is a white sand beach. It is her secret spot. She sings a song she heard somewhere which calls for Mama Jo. Mama Jo, a mermaid appears. Sukey has heard tales of mermaids being mean and trying to pull you into the water with them, so she is very weary of Mama Jo. Mama Jo is patient with her and they spend the day together. At the end of the day Mama Jo gives Sukey a gold coin to take home so her parents will not be angry with her. When her stepfather sees the gold coin he sends her back to the water every day to look for more. 

Sukey loves spending time with Mama Jo and every day Mama Jo gives her one gold coin. She invites Sukey to come live with her, but Sukey refuses. One day Sukey's mother follows Sukey and witnesses Mama Jo giving her the coin. That night Sukey's mother tells Mr. Jones. Early the next morning they go out and try to catch Mama Jo. After that Mama Jo will not appear for Sukey. Mr. Jones forces her to hoe the garden again until Sukey becomes very sick. While sick in bed, she dreams of Mama Jo and Mama Jo says she will appear to Sukey once more if she wants to come live with her. Sukey drags herself to the water and sings the new song Mama Jo told her in her dream. Then Mama Jo uses her magic hair to take Sukey to her underground cave. They live there happily together for a long time until Sukey begins to miss the sun and birds singing. She begs Mama Jo to take her back to the land. They finally agree to take her back and Mama Jo gives her a bag filled with gold coins and jewels for her dowry. She also tells her to only marry a man named Dembo. If she marries any other man the treasure will disappear. 

Sukey returns home. Her mother has been grieving her loss and Mr. Jones has grown even meaner until he sees the dowry bag. Young men come courting when they hear about the treasure. Sukey refuses them all until Dembo comes. They fall in love and her mother and neighbors plan a grand wedding for them. While Sukey and her mother are out the night before the wedding, Mr. Jones kills Dembo and steals the dowry, hiding it under his mattress. Sukey is devastated when she sees Dembo dead. She runs to the water's edge and calls for Mama Jo. Mama Jo tells her this is the last time she will come to her, but gives her something to bring Dembo back to life. When Dembo comes back to life he tells everyone that Mr. Jones is the one who hurt him. Mr. Jones grabs the treasure and hops into his canoe. The crowd watches as a storm cloud appears over him and the ocean swallows him--canoe and all. Dembo and Sukey are sad to have lost the treasure but are glad to still have each other. They get married and afterwards go to Sukey's favorite spot and she digs her feet deep into the white sand and feels something. They dig up the dowry treasure bag. She sees green and gold in the distance sparkling in the sun and Sukey blows a kiss to Mama Jo.

Mermaid Bedroom

Note: Sharing Saturday will be up and running at 9 p.m. EDT!
July 1st is the last day to enter Taming the Goblin's The Mermaid Project. I had one more idea floating around my head, but didn't think I would get to it. However, I found a mermaid at The Dollar Tree (I let Hazel chose one), so I was able to do this quickly since it did not involve making a mermaid. Hazel and I had painted this gallon milk container awhile ago with hopes of making it into a house for someone. When I saw it again, I thought it was the perfect colors for a mermaid.
All I did was put a large shell in it and a couple of small ones to be a bed and bedside table. Then I added the mermaid. Then I cut out some seaweed blankets out of different shades of green felt.
Since we had the felt and shells and the recycled milk container and paint this new toy cost all of $1! Not too bad for something for Hazel to play with.
View with no seaweed blankets
What do you think?

I will be entering this in Taming the Goblin's The Mermaid Project.

Mermaid Treasure Box

Sharing Saturday is still open. Please come share your child oriented crafts and activities with us and check out all the amazing ideas others have shared!

Upcoming this next week are the kick offs to two reading events. MemeTales Readathon 2012 and Virtual Summer Book Club for Kids (join me on Monday to share your Mo Willems book crafts), and we are participating in both!! I hope you will join us in them.
My frame and picture in my beach themed master bedroom

While thinking about our shell frames and picking up a few more wooden frames to make more, we found a wooden box that would make a nice treasure box for Hazel. She loved the idea and I let her pick out a blueish paint for it. I used this paint on the box and our frames. I decided I wanted to use one of the previous frames for the picture of Hazel at the beach and still wanted to frame my favorite mermaid picture. Hazel also wanted to frame another mermaid picture (her second favorite) and we had a piece of wood we covered in sand to make a sign for Steve. We glued some shells on it to say "Relax." Steve liked it and wanted it for one of his spaces.
 I let Hazel glue the shells on her frame after I had added some sand to the bottom. She of course wanted to put on as many as she could. We put this one in her room as well as the first one she did.

Now onto the box. While she was at my mother-in-law's I painted it for her including the inside. Then we picked out a mermaid picture. We chose one from The Graphic Fairy. I decoupaged a sparkly scrapbook paper first to the top of the box and then the picture on top of it and put a few coats of Mod Podge onto it. Then I added some sand to the bottom of the sides of the box.
After all of this dried  we put some mermaid stickers on the sides including bubbles and then I sprayed the inside and out with an acrylic sealer. Next I hot glued some shells, stones, and sea glass onto the top and sides.
Top View
Front View
Hazel could not wait for it to dry so she could put some treasure into it.
Back View
Finished Box
We will be sharing this over at Taming The Goblin's Mermaid Project. Have you shared your mermaid crafts there yet?